2. Be diligent
3. Let go of past
These evidences of faith were demonstrated in the life of Joseph (the favourite son of Jacob). God had a great plan for Joseph’s life and He gave Joseph this vision through a dream. But the circumstances that Joseph found himself in were farthest from anything like a good God plan. Didn’t look like a good God nor a good plan: His brothers plotted to murder him. His brothers sold him as a slave. He lived the life of a slave, was wrongly accused of rape, was imprisoned. He thought the cup bearer would remember him and help him get out of prison (Gen 40:14) yet the chief cup bearer forgot him (v23)
For someone in Joseph’s circumstances who might have been praying for God to show a sign of His goodness, to make Himself real, to show His favour, to hasten in delivering him from his terrible ordeal and yet not see the light at the end of the tunnel, it would be easy to be bitter and angry against God and other people who were instrumental to cause those circumstances. As the pitiful details of the life of Joseph unfolded, you would see the verse “The Lord was with him.”
Joseph continued to walk by faith. He continued to be diligent in the tasks he was given to do. He rose up as head of Potiphar’s household (Gen 39:2-6). Even in prison, Joseph responded to his circumstances in a godly way that he continued to prosper and Joseph was put in charge of all the prisoners by the chief jailer (Gen 29:22)
Until that one day (after God’s training through suffering) when the vision God gave Joseph came to pass.
Gen 41:41 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, and clothed him in garments of fine linen and put the gold necklace around his neck. 43 He had him ride in his second chariot; and they proclaimed before him, “Bow the knee!” And he set him over all the land of Egypt. 44 Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Though I am Pharaoh, yet without your permission no one shall raise his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.”
Joseph was now in power. He could have used it to get back at those who caused him to suffer. But Joseph continued to walk by faith. When they finally met, Joseph told his brothers that it was God (not they) who sent him to Egypt for the saving of many lives. Joseph saw his life from God’s point of view.
Gen 45:4… “I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. 5 Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life…7 God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. 8 Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 9 Hurry and go up to my father, and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, “God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay. 10 You shall live in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children and your flocks and your herds and all that you have. 11 There I will also provide for you, for there are still five years of famine to come, and you and your household and all that you have would be impoverished.”’ …14 Then he fell on his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck. 15 He kissed all his brothers and wept on them, and afterward his brothers talked with him.
Joseph let go of the past and forgave the brothers who betrayed him. It wasn’t just a verbal forgiveness. Joseph blessed the very brothers who betrayed him and harmed him. After their father died, his brothers were afraid that Joseph would finally retaliate but Joseph maintained:
Gen 50:20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.
I invite you to listen to this message at CCF given by Pastor Peter Tanchi, “Walk By Faith.” The message summary is:
To walk by faith is to trust God and know that He is greater than our past, present and future.
In what ways is God asking you to walk by faith today?